Santanoni stands as the fourteenth highest peak in the Adirondacks, is the highest in the Santanoni Mountains and is the highest Peak E of the Hudson River in the Adirondacks.
Though they lie only a few miles from the other peaks of the Great Range these peaks have a significalty different micro climate which is wetter and warmer than the others. What this basically means to you and I is that there are no bare summits or open ridges, just lots of think forest and underbrush. This area calls for and demands good back country navigation skills with map and compass.
Aside from all of that Santanoni dose have an open face to the E that offers a view of Panther and Couchsachraga.
Like Dix Range the Santanoni is also very isolated and secluded you will be hard pressed to find anyone else about even at the best of times. Do to its isolation and the long cross county distances involved in getting to the peak it is best done as a two day hike though it can be done in one very long day hike 12+ hours.
The normal route starts at about 0.3 of a mile S of the Santanoni Lean-to at a beaver dam, cross the dam and follow a survey line that climbs sharply over rough terrain until it peters out into a heard path going in a westerly direction. You will then reach a brook descending from the Panther-Santanoni ridge. Head up this brook and after about 0.5 of mile of rock-hopping another heard path is reached. Head up this heard path and after about 0.5 of a mile the apex of the ridge is met.
This spot is called “Time Square” and from here one can easily reach all the peaks in the Santanoni mountains. To get to the summit of Santanoni from this point head S along the heard path on ridge up and over a small col, then through a dense spruce forest and finally a long assent up a ridge for well over 0.75 of a mile. Watch out here, as there had to be about 10 or 15 false summits along the way.
There are two main trailheads for the Santanoni Mountains the Upper Works to the S and Duck Hole to the N.
To get to the Upper works head down Rt 28N, the access road is reached after about 7.3 mi. N of Aiden Lair or about 5 mi. E of the Town Hall on Newcomb on the N side of the road. After about 6 mi. of going N on this road it forks with the main road continuing strait across a bridge over the Hudson to the mine. Turn left here on a narrower road marked with a sign “Marcy and the High Peaks” At 2.0 mi from this turn, there is a large parking lot about a 100 yards back from the road the trail starts form here.
The trailhead for a northern approach can be reached by taking the road that leaves Rt. 3 12.7 mi W of the traffic light in Saranac Lake and 2.7 mi, E of the junction of Rtes. 3 and 30 E of Tupper Lake. This road is marked with a large DEC sign for “High Peaks via Duck Hole” It is paved through the little settlement of Coreys, but turns to gravel at about 1.5 mil, crosses Stony Creek at 2.5 mi and continues to a parking area on the R about 5.8 miles for Rt. 3.
The frist part of both the Upper Works trail and the Duck Hole trail are on private land please observe these simple rules
1) No camping, fishing or hunting
2) No off-trail travel including rock climbing or bushwhacking, or use of non-public trail
3) No boating or swimming, including portable boats brought by the public
4) NO DOGS or other pets are permitted unless on a leash
The whole of the Santanoni Mountains and all of the Adirondacks for that matter has a big game hunting season that starts on the next to last Saturday in October and lasts until the first Sunday in December. Do wear bright-colored clothing and do not be alarmed is you hear shots, or men (99.999999% of the time it is a guy but I suppose that there are some women hunters out there too) with guns.
The best time of year is late summer as the brook is usually dry by then and the heard paths well established.
In winter the Ski from Duck Hole to the Upper works and back is quite fun.
Same as for all Adirondack mountains.
1) No Camping above 4,000 feet
2) No camping withing 150 feet of a stream or other water source except at a designated campsite.
3) No soap or washing withing 150 feet of water
4) Pack it in Pack it out is the rule for garbage
5) Only dead and down wood can be used for fires and set in a proper fire pit. ( local etiquette is to use a stove and not a fire)
The name comes from Saint Anthony which was a name given to the area by the first French Canadian fur traders and Franciscan missionaries who first explored this area. They laid claim on the area on Saint Anthony’s day and as was their tradition named it after the saint who’s name day it was.
The local first nation, the Abenaki, adopted it and used their own pronunciation for the word and as such the name has been passed down to us today.
The peak was one last of the high peaks to be climbed by non-natives yielding its summit in 1866 by Dve Hunter and Theodore Davis. Later in that same year it was largely clear cut by a local timber concern.